25 kW Power Module (ca 1978, MSFC)

The PM, or Power Module, was initially conceived by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as a 25 kW regulated source of electricity to supplement the space shuttle’s fuel cells during Spacelab missions with increased electrical demand. (NASA’s Johnson Space Center had its own competing solar power system for the shuttle, called PEP.)

It would be deployed by the shuttle, serviced by the shuttle, and recovered for refurbishment by the shuttle.

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“Hacking” my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (GT-3110). The newest Samsung ROM for it is less than state-of-the-art, so for the past few years I’ve been using custom ROMs on it. I last used CyanogenMod 10. That was getting pretty old in the tooth too.

I therefore set upon updating it again. I found there were several custom ROMs to choose from. The custom ROM I chose to install was CyanogenMod 12.1. This is one of the releases of Android 5.1 “Lolipop”.

– more to come –

Macross Quarter (MacrossF) vs. Daedalus-class battlecruiser (SG-1/SG-A)

I saw this comparison on another blog and thought I’d enter my own opinion.

I’m am an ardent fan of both franchises, so this is tough for me to call. I love hypothetical crossover
discussions, but usually mine are about the “good” side of one franchise vs the “bad” side of the other.

As fiction, there is really no canon source of technical information to my knowledge for either (other than rough approximations of size, etc.) Due to this, most information comes from plot/drama-induced anecdotal evidence and thus direct comparisons are pointless. I will however make some generalizations based upon my opinions.

I’ll start with the easier comparisons. The fighter craft – Valkyries vs. F-302s – are an easy win for Macross. The F-302s are based on older Terran/Tauri technology than the Valkyries, even if you remove the transformational abilities from the Valkyries list of features.

The advanced (and no doubt expensive) Terran/Tauri technology on the Daedalus-class battlecruiser falls into a similar category. The deciding factor is the Asgard and Gould (and Ancient/Alterran if you count the ZPM on the Odyssey) technology integrated into the Daedalus-class.

The spacefold technology in the Macross franchise has, if I understand correctly, been similar to the near-instantaneous “jump” drive used in BSG. However in Macross Frontier, they introduce the concept of a “fold fault”, a fault-line in the fabric of hyperspace that requires a detour around by dropping into normal space. In addition, it is implied that FTL travel in Macross Frontier seems less instantaneous and more like traditional warp drive as in Star Trek. I believe this was chosen to add tension, another plot/drama requirement that ruined the fictional laws of physics.

The Asgard beaming technology would no doubt be a considerable point in the Daedalus-class favor that would in the outset have no counter.

On the matter of the main weaponry for each vessel…. the Asgard design has the benefit of a design by a significantly more advanced society. However in Macross Frontier, the main weapon on the Quarter is assumed to be a variant of the Macross Cannon, which had its origin – I believe – in Zentraedi/Meltrandi and ultimately Protoculture technology. I don’t know which Asgard/Protoculture is more ancient or technologically advanced… and for the sake of this discussion, I don’t think it matters. In any case, the main energy weapons for both are so suffieciently OP that again a comparison is pointless.

Point defenses imo are a win for Macross as well. I don’t have any quantifiable evidence for this. I believe the UN Spacy/New UN Spacy has had more experience in large space battles than the SGC and in addition I doubt the targeting systems for the railguns on the Daedalus are as good as those on the Quarter, or its complement of Destroids.

To sum it up… I’ll ruin it for you and say that each ship was designed in the bubble of its own franchise and has pros and cons which suit each. Mixing the laws of physics each franchise has is pretty much an exercise in futility/insanity. Overall I’d give most advantages to the Quarter, except for the OP tech of the beaming technology.

I would prefer to envision these two vessels cooperating in a crossover confrontation against a similar pairing of their enemies.

I guess I’m lazy and a whimp for not calling out a clear favorite.

I welcome opinions….

Problems with Streaming KSP on Linux with OBS


I play 64-bit Kerbal Space Program on Linux (Ubuntu 15.04 specifically). I love using a *lot* of mods!

I’ve tried streaming with OBS and have been experiencing some serious issues.

  1. KSP won’t use the monitor I want it to use. It’s a known issue, but mostly an annoyance. I have to switch from fullscreen to windowed mode, move the window and go fullscreen again. My Samsung TV is plugged into to the HDMI port of my graphics card because it has speakers. The Acer monitor is plugged into the DVI port of the graphics card and therefore is designated as “screen 1” by XWindows, even though I want it to be the main display. I’m pretty sure switching these two connections around would fix the problem, but I like to be able to output sound through the TV… thus I need to use the HDMI port for that display. Changes to the xconfig and Ubuntu monitors settings seem to be ignored… *sigh*
  2. The OBS preview window captures KSP correctly, but the KSP window itself stops updating; i.e. it looks like someone took a screenshot the moment the OBS preview started. I can’t play KSP through the tiny picture on the OBS preview window and end up having to switch to a virtual terminal and killing OBS and KSP. In addition, the framerate is abysmal. I hope/assume the capture issue is related to the framerate issue.



Displays SamsungTV Acer
Model Samsung Acer S23HL
Type 26 inch TV (720p) 23 inch monitor (1080p)
Use secondary primary
Here’s an image of my monitor setup… and my cat Nutmeg. 😉
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 760 (ASUS GTX760-DC2OC-2DG5)


  • Ubuntu 15.04
  • KSP 1.0.2 through Steam
  • OBS
  • nVidia proprietary drivers

Teslamax’s Hackintosh Build

After consulting the TonyMacx86.com web site, a great source of information for building a Hackintosh, I chose the components I would use.


Case NZXT Crafted Series Phantom 410 Mid Tower ATX Computer Case – Black

I moved my computers to a rack chassis to up my geek-cred.


PSU Corsair CS650M
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H (rev 1.x)
CPU Intel Core i7-4770K (Socket 1150)
GPU ASUS nVidia GeForce GTX 760 (GTX760-DC2OC-2GD5)
HD Western Digital Black 1TB (WD1003FZEX)

The bulk of the hardware was purchased from the fine folks at the local MicroCenter store.

Assembling the hardware was one thing, getting the software installed the way I like it is another. Configuring and optimizing the operating systems, boot menus, etc. is an unending process. Currently I have three operating systems installed which, more or less, are finally co-operating. (It only took me a year to do so.)

OS Function
Mac OS X (10.11) was primary operating system; became too difficult to keep working
Ubuntu (15.04) was Kerbal Space Program 64-bit; I now run Debian 9 in a VM on my FreeNAS box
Windows 7 Pro 10 primary OS; mostly for games

Repairing a MacBook Pro 13″ (2009)

I was tasked w/repairing a MacBook Pro 13″ (2009).

For future reference I will list the following sources of information:


The computer would not longer boot beyond the Apple logo & spinning progress circle.


  1. I booted from the OS X Install DVD.
  2. I ran Disk Utility, selected the internal drive, and clicked the “Repair Disk” button. After repairing several errors successfully it reported that it could not repair the disk.
  3. I backed up the contents of the hard drive. (I imaged the internal hard drive to an external HD for safekeeping.)

“Quicksilver Pi” – Putting a Raspberry Pi into a PowerMac G4 case

I have a Raspberry Pi which I use primarily for Raspbmc. I also have a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver computer. I don’t use the Mac anymore, but it has a wicked cool case. After I found out about the Raspberry Pi-powered Mac emulator in a 1/3 scale classic Mac case, I thought using my G4 case as an enclosure for the Pi would be a nifty project. (I learned along the way that converting the Quicksilver case to hold a micro ATX motherboard is itself a popular mod.)
Quicksilver Pi

Design Plan

I’d like to use as much of the original components of the G4 as possible. Hopefully I wish to use the cabling from the power supply and the front panel buttons/LED.

Intelligence Gathering

Collecting information when planning a project is always an important step.

Pinouts (Power Supply, etc.)

Use ATX power supply with Raspberry Pi

PowerMac G4 (Quicksilver) conversion to µATX case

Parts Sourcing


I ordered the following:

  • ATX-Pi (and assembled it)
  • Adafruit’s panel-mount cables

This was all before I discovered the Fairywren. If I had been aware of it earlier I would have purchased it instead of the ATX-Pi. (I probably will anyway.)

With the pinout differences between the ATX 24-pin power connector and Apple’s 22-pin variant, I planned on using the built-in power supply with a custom adapter. Molex‘s Mini-Fit® Jr™ pin removal tool lists for about $20. The cost of the tool, the ATX extension cable, and the labor to make them work together made a difficult and inefficient solution. I admitted to myself that it makes more economic sense to buy a regular ATX power supply for the Quicksilver Pi project. This simplifies the design and makes my job easier.

I purchased a Corsair CX500M power supply. Although overkill for this purpose, it is silent and very capable. I just might use this case for a “Hackintosh” later on, so I thought I shouldn’t skimp.

I have ordered the Quicksilver G4 mATX conversion kits from The Laser Hive. I chose a black back panel color to match the power supply. This is a wonderful outfit. They are very helpful and quick to respond to e-mail.

I have spent considerable time tracing the schematic for Apple’s 820-1284-A, the PCB with the power LED and power, reset, and interrupt switch. I will eventually make mods to this board akin to the following:

As I wait for the Fairywren to become available — I learned of it after it finished on Kickstarter — I purchased a sheet of plexiglass to temporarily mount the Raspberry Pi and the ATX-Pi. I admittedly don’t have the equipment to do the job properly, so the prototype I am using is crude and ugly.

I’m thinking of having a custom sheet of acrylic machined/laser-cut with the standard mATX mounting holes in it, along with mounting holes for:

The location of the aluminum case and ATX-Pi needs to leave room to “thread” the cables inside the case. I’m still working on this.